Back to School Dreams By: Gabriel PotterMBA, AIFA® 2016.09.06

Labor Day weekend has come and gone.  That means it’s also back-to-school season.  Welcome back, students!

When I was a high-school student, I had a recurring dream.  In the dream, I would find out that I had been scheduled to attend a particular class for months, but somehow I hadn’t noticed.  Worse yet, I only find out on the last day of finals that I have to take an exam in that class. 

There are two funny things about this dream.  First, even though I’ve been out of high-school for decades, I still have that dream.  Second, nearly everybody I’ve ever met has had a close-variation of this exact same dream. 

My understanding is that one of the reasons we dream is mental preparation.  In dreams, your subconscious mind considers imaginary threats, sometimes realistic and sometimes outlandish, to jolt you into positive change and prepare you for your real-life waking world.  Given that nearly everybody I know has the same problem, I have to assume that the underlying anxiety is pretty universal.  As a sentence, you might phrase the fear exemplified by the dream as, “I am afraid that I am going to be reasonable for something which I know nothing about and have not prepared for.”

I wonder how investment boards and committees feel about this.  Fiduciary lawsuits are not as universally experienced as the high-school tests, but the underlying fear is essentially identical.  Fiduciary matters are underappreciated and inadequately prepared for.  Maybe this should be the new bad dream to spur you into positive change and prepare you.








Gabriel Potter

Gabriel is a Senior Investment Research Associate at Westminster Consulting, where he is responsible for designing strategic asset allocations and conducts proprietary market research.

An avid writer, Gabriel manages the firm’s blog and has been published in the Journal of Compensation and Benefits,...

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